Press Release: $16 Million in Transit Capital Assistance Funds Announced for Wisconsin Communities

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Tony Evers, Governor

Kathy Blumenfeld, Secretary

January 16, 2024

$16 Million in Transit Capital Assistance Funds Announced for Wisconsin Communities

Applications Open for Third Round of Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Funds

Madison, Wis. – Today, Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld announced that applications are now being accepted for the Transit Capital Assistance Grant Program to fund the replacement of eligible public transit buses under the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust.

“Public transit is so important not only for the health of our communities and helping get people to work, but also as a key pillar of our state’s Clean Energy Plan,” said DOA Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld. “These funds will help provide innovative and clean transportation options for Wisconsin communities.”  

“Efficient, reliable public transit is vital to our state’s economy and quality of life,” Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson said. “An investment in fleet upgrades will help modernize our transit system, continue our commitment to reduce our environmental impact, and improve efficiency and reliability for the many Wisconsinites who use public transit every day.”

Judicial settlements require Volkswagen to pay more than $2.9 billion into an Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund, for violating the federal Clean Air Act by selling diesel engine vehicles that utilized software designed to cheat on federal emissions tests by reporting inaccurate data on nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. The State of Wisconsin is a designated beneficiary and has been allocated $67.1 million in total to offset the excess pollution emitted by affected Volkswagen vehicles.

2017 Wisconsin Act 59 established the Transit Capital Assistance Grant Program. The grant program funds the replacement and scrapping of 4 to 8 public transit buses in the 1992-2009 engine model year class with new clean diesel or alternate fueled buses, including battery electric. The program gives preference to communities or routes that DOA determines are critical for connecting employees with employers. In the first and second rounds of grants, DOA competitively awarded over $49 million of Volkswagen Trust funds to 11 communities for the replacement of 92 eligible public transit buses.

For more information on the Transit Capital Assistant Grant Program or VW Mitigation Program please contact Erin Smith, Department of Administration, at 608-267-3293 or

A full announcement and application are available on the VW Mitigation Program webpage. Questions regarding the grant program must be submitted by January 31, 2024 and applications are due by March 8, 2024.

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